There are three main types of light bulbs on the market today, with each of them offering unique benefits that make them suitable for specific uses. These light bulbs are halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, and LED bulbs. Light quality will be pretty standard across all three bulbs, but cost and energy efficiency will vary. Learning more about what each light bulb brings to a room can help you decide when you would prefer to use each one. Read on to learn about the primary features of each.
Incandescent Light Bulbs
This type of light bulb has been around for more than a century and was the primary choice for most of the 20th century. Today, halogen incandescent bulbs come in a variety of shapes and colors. These bulbs emit a warm, ambient light that is flattering to skin tones.
These lights are not energy-efficient, as less than 10 percent of the energy they consume is converted to visible light. However, these bulbs are the least expensive option. Additionally, as a lot of the energy they take in is converted to heat, they are often hot to the touch. Incandescent light bulbs can be helpful in home bathrooms by providing a little extra warmth as well as brightness.
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Also known as CFLs, these light bulbs operate like the long fluorescent tube lights you see in classrooms and stores. However, they are compactly coiled to work in traditional light fixtures. CFLs that have an Energy Star rating use one-third of the energy of incandescent bulbs while giving out the same amount of light, often lasting 8 to 10 times longer.
CFLs produce heat, and their lifespan can be reduced when placed in glass or globe fixtures that provide limited ventilation. Turning these lights off and on frequently can also decrease their lifespan.
CFLs used to be known for giving off a harsh light, but newer versions are available in cool or warm tones. Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, which means that they must be disposed of carefully. You should avoid using CFLs in rooms like bathrooms, where the lights are turned off and on most often.
LED Light Bulbs
LEDs or light-emitting diodes are the newest light bulb to hit the market. These light bulbs often have the highest price tag, but they are the most energy-efficient. An LED bulb will emit little to no heat and uses just 6 to 8 watts of energy to produce the same brightness as a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb.
LEDs last about six times longer than CFLs and over 30 times longer than incandescent bulbs. While CFLs emit light in all directions, LEDs are directional. The bulb has a specific coating that diffuses the light, but lower-quality bulbs will look dimmer than their higher-quality counterparts. LEDs can be great for kitchen overhead or recessed lighting.
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